This week I’ve been attending the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 22nd Annual Financials CEO Conference in London. With financials being such a large weighting in global, and local, equity indices and the interest rate cycle turning up, attending this conference has given genuine insight into the prospects for UK and European financials. I’m very glad I attended.
The theme of this year’s conference is “the financial crisis 10 years on”. Yes, it’s been a decade since Northern Rock failed in the UK, which was the start of the UK/EU banking crisis that saw an unprecedented response from governments and central banks. Fast forward to today, and the scars from that period are evident, but it’s absolutely clear that the financial sector continues to recover strongly, albeit with the continued uncertainty of what “Brexit” will eventually mean.
The line-up at this conference has been exceptional and has given me a very broad insight into a wide variety of sectors and companies. For example, I’ve listened to presentations by ING, Lloyds, Standard Chartered, Barclays, HSBC, Unicredit, Commerzbank, BBVA, Metro Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, CYBG, Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas, UBS, Nordea, Danske Bank, Erste Group, Standard Life, Zurich Insurance, Old Mutual, Hannover RE, St James Place, Legal & General, Aviva, Prudential, AXA and Allianz.